Thursday, July 9, 2015

Day in the Life: Before baby 3

Last week, I finally got my act together and finished a few photo/journal books I had been working on forever. Almost literally forever, as the projects in question were Fin's baby book (of her first year) and my blog books from 2013 and 2014. I had them all about halfway finished, but everything else seemed to get in the way of just sitting down and cranking them out. All I really had to do was format them (everything was already written after all) but I'm beyond picky about that, so it does kind of take forever.

But as tedious as it can be to get the web to print transition just how I like it, it's also pretty fun to take a walk down memory lane as I make the books. I don't think I'll ever been at a point where I write as much as I want, but every time I look back on what I have recorded, I'm so thankful (to myself?) for putting forth the effort, even if it's incomplete. (Fin's book, for example, has monthly photoshoots with written highlights from each month, but I'm missing a few of the more detailed journal entries. I guess months 8, 9 and 12 were particularly busy...But 75% isn't bad, right?)

Through 2013 and 2014 there were a few Day in The Life type posts where I wrote about our typical daily routine. It seems like kind of a silly thing to document- I mean, are my grandchildren (the only real audience I imagine for these books) really going to care about what time I woke up every day, and what I ate for breakfast? Well, maybe not. But in a strange way, some of these mundane details make up the most interesting stories overall. Vacations and holidays are fun to document, and I love looking back on all of those happy times for sure, but they're not really good representations of what our lives are really like. The simple day-to-day stuff typically goes unrecorded because it seems unremarkable at the time...but then in hindsight it tells the story of who our family was during a particular time. Someday, my ancestors will stumble upon these books (while they're archiving everything to holograms, or whatever post-Jetsons type technology they have by then) and get a chuckle at how primitive things were (she had to drive to work? thank goodness for teleport stations!) or be reassured that some things never change (her baby woke up every hour for three months too? least I'm not alone).

But even in the near term, it's been fun (and helpful) for me to look back on our routines from the past. I'm amazed at how fast I forget things (especially in the post-baby fog stage) so having it preserved for posterity is kinda necessary. Looking back on our daily doings reminds me of the fun stuff, the hard stuff, and just the regular stuff. It also helps me prepare for what's to come as we approach this whole newborn adventure for a third time.

So if only for myself I wanted to record another round of our "Day in the Life" before things get flipped upside down (in a good way, I'm hoping!) by another baby Bowden. If you've ever read any of my other routine posts, most of this will probably be familiar, and potentially painfully repetitive (spoiler alert: I hate getting up in the morning, and Dustin is the glue that holds our entire crazy contraption/family together), but all of our phases- especially with young kids- have their own nuances to worth capturing.


6/6:30- Dustin wakes up first, to shower and get ready. He's trying to get into a routine with working out before the rest of us ladies wake up...he was even going to an early AM Crossfit class for a while, but it's hard to cram that in before the little ones start stirring.
7:00- The girls wake up. Piper's wake-up schedule has been all over the place in her short little life, but as of now, the latest we can really push her is 7. Sometimes it's even earlier than that, but we try to maintain our rule about waiting for the green light of her clock. If it's too early, or we need more time, we'll give her one of our phones for her to go quietly play games (or watch PBS kids shows) until we're ready to attack the day. Since the girls share a room now, Fin is sort of along for the ride. She would probably be content to sleep until 7:30 ish, but usually once Piper is up, she's up. She's awesome though- in that she's completely happy to stay in her crib until we get her. She jib jabs with Piper, or plays with her Jelly...really I have no idea, but she's happy, so I'm happy.
7/7:15- Dustin gets the kids dressed. We had a routine for a little bit where I would lay out clothes at night to make the morning go smoother, but now the kids are so picky about what they want to wear (Fin: anything with animals, or something that actually belongs to Piper. Piper: anything that I would never pick out.) that it doesn't really make sense to try dictating anything in advance. So typically they look insane, but are at least clad in something somewhat seasonally appropriate. They both run into my room excited to show me some detail of their outfit ("Dress, mama!","Tie-dye!!","Owl!") while I rub the sleep from my eyes and tell them how wonderful they look.
7:20/7:45- I finally drag myself out of bed. My utter laziness when it comes to rising in the morning might be my worst quality (it's probably unfortunately not even close...but let's keep this light.) I get ready while the rest of the family heads downstairs.
7:30- Breakfast and TV. Yeah...we let our toddler/preschooler watch TV in the morning. Every morning. There are probably better things they could do with this time, but for now, it's the easiest way to keep them occupied while we (Dustin) make breakfast. Recently our occasional tradition of breakfast picnics, turned into an everyday occurrence, so they chomp on pancakes/eggs/cereal/fruit  while watching whatever 26 minute slice of programming heaven they've chosen for the day (current favs: Octonauts, Clifford's Puppy Days, Curious George, Sofia the First, Super Why, Peg + Cat, and Jake & The Neverland Pirates).
(sometimes he gets fancy...)


8/8:15- Get ready to leave. We clean up the kitchen, finish packing lunches (when we're really on our game...otherwise we justify another trip to Jimmy John's or Chipotle), grab snacks and waters that the girls insist they need for the 8 minute ride home in the evening, get everyone's shoes on, and roll out. (This is where Dustin's signature phrase: "like a herd of turtles" comes to life. Why does it take soooooo long for two small people to get out the door? I wish I knew, so I could fix it.)
8:20- drop the girls off at school. Fin first (who almost never cries...running happily to her teacher- or more likely- happily to the table to con them into giving her second-breakfast), then Piper (who cries practically every time. It's really just a formality at this point...) Then Dustin and I make the trek downtown. It's about a half hour trip, sometimes more if there's rain or extra traffic but we aim to get in just before 9. We ride together most days, unless one of us has early/late meetings, or appointments etc. that require us to split up. It's been fun to carpool, and gives us a least an hour to chat each day without interruptions from the kiddos. (time, which, if you're a parent, you understand is rare and precious).

9-5- Worky work. Busy bees. People always ask if we see much of each other at work, but really it's pretty rare. He works on a different floor (a higher one, so you know I'm not trekking up there unless I have to) in a different department, for a different client. So our interaction is pretty limited. We do meet up for lunch every once in a while, but typically we each work through without a break so there's not a ton of time to hang out. Especially if we want to leave on time...which we pretty much have to unless we want to pay $1 a minute in late fees at daycare. We're lucky to have pretty flexible jobs, so we can stick to a pretty strict 9-5 without much trouble. I typically work a little bit more on the way home (while Dustin drives, another perk of a carpool!) responding to emails if I need to.
(Oh- and meanwhile- the girls are playing, and eating, and napping, and doing all the things 2 and 3 year olds love.)

5:45- Pick up the kids. They're usually some of the last ones there, which makes me feel a little guilty, but I try to remember that they're also pretty much the last two dropped off in the morning, so we're just on a bit of a later schedule than most. We pack 'em up, and dole out the fruit snacks to ward off end of the day meltdowns on the car ride home. Thankfully it's super short, so we don't have to deal with traffic and cranky toddlers at the same time.
6:00- Dinnertime! We have still yet to find a groove with dinner. This has to be my least favorite thing to do as a's just all so much work. Thinking of recipes, grocery shopping, preparing the meal, trying to get kids to eat the food, cleaning up...It all exhaust me. And these people expect dinner every day! The nerve! When we do cook, we try to make enough to last two nights, so we don't have to do the thinking and prep work every day. Plus we're lucky to have "family dinner night" once a week at my mom's so that saves us a night too. Someday I'll maybe put all the pinterest suggestions on meal planning, and crockpotting, and freezer stockpiling to work...but until then- pasta, frozen veggies, and chicken tenders get us through in a pinch.
She's getting pretty good at making "sammiches". 
Maybe she can take over the dinner time routine soon...

6:30- Playtime! We don't typically do anything too structured. We'll play a game, or let the kids run amok dumping out any toy that strikes their fancy. If it's nice enough to go outside, that's the best, because it allows them to run off all that energy they still manage to have at this time of night (whereas I've been ready for snooze since about 3pm). Sometimes we squeeze a bath in here (to save time and stress we try to do that on the weekends, or have them take one during the day on "G'mi days" with my mom.) 
7:30- Bedtime! Clean up, put on jammies, go potty (Fin tries, anyway), and brush teeth. If they can do this swiftly, we read a few books. If it takes for-ev-er (like usual) then we restrict them to one or two books. Reading with them at night is one of my favorite times, so I hate to cut it short, but they love it too, so it's a good motivator to keep the dilly-dallying to a (relative) minimum.  
8:00- Bedtime for real! Hugs, kisses, tucked in. They both now try to drag this out as long as possible (one more story? tuck me in again? I need another drink! I can't find my blanket. I forgot to go potty...Well I have to go again...) but we try not to play into it too much, flipping on the nightlight, the lullabye music, and telling them sweet dreams. (Fin typically falls asleep within minutes, as long as she doesn't get too deep into a conversation with Piper. Pips has a tougher time and has been known to still be up at 9:30. If only that meant she'd sleep in later too...)

Don't worry kids. I'll get the rest...

8:15- Now our night starts...which is pretty much filled with a little more clean up, potentially some work, or just basic vegging out. We need to get better at putting this time to productive use but by this point in the night (and my pregnancy) I don't have the energy to do much more than flip on the TV and ask Dustin to make me an ice cream float. We have a ton of house projects (mostly organization) that we could chip away at if we tried, so we'll try to make that a bit more of a priority before the baby comes. (because I know my energy isn't exactly going to increase when we add another kid to the pile).
10:30/11- Bedtime for Dustin, with me following not toooo far behind. But he pretty much goes right to sleep, while I typically lay in bed reading blogs or catching up on Instagram until at least midnight. I know. It's a problem. 

(oh, and for the record- this is a typical day, but truly there's really no such thing. Plus, our routine varies by the day. This was a record of a school day, and a night at home, but we have small group on Tuesdays, so that's a babysitter night, Thursdays are family dinner so we meet up with the kids at my mom's, Tuesday and Thursdays are G'mi days, so that makes our schedule a little more flexible because we don't have to do pick up and drop off...You get it. And the weekends are different of course, but have a rhythm of their own- they usually include a few meals out, lots more play time, some naps, church, errands, and plans with friends- with some yard work and to-do list stuff mixed in there for the grown ups). 

So there you have it. A slice of our "right this minute". A life that is about to look drastically different. So we soak this up, and log it away in our memory banks (and our memory books) the best that we can, and then keep plowing through to next great stage of mundane and mundanely lovely days together. 

P.S. Check out other Day in The Life posts,

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